• A Duel of Giants

  • Bismarck, Napoleon III, and the Origins of the Franco-Prussian War
  • By: David Wetzel
  • Narrated by: Jim D. Johnston
  • Length: 6 hrs and 54 mins
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (43 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Combining impeccable scholarship and literary elegance, David Wetzel depicts the drama of machinations and passions that exploded in a war that forever changed the face of European history.

©2001 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System (P)2016 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"David Wetzel provides a clear narrative of the diplomatic background to the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War...Recommended as a useful introduction to a major theme in European history..." ( Times Literary Supplement)
"David Wetzel has produced a readable and praiseworthy book... a solidly researched, soundly argued account of the events leading to the outbreak of war between France and Prussia in July 1870." ( Journal of Military History)
"David Wetzel has created a fascinating story that illustrates the supreme importance of personalities in the making of politics and, more important, the making of wars." (Sir Michael Howard, Oxford University)

What listeners say about A Duel of Giants

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Ends before the war begins!

This book is ONLY the background and lead up to the war. There is zero information on the relative strengths of the armies, the commanders, or any of the actual maneuvers. The title is deceptive, the book ends with the outbreak and does not cover the war itself. Not worth the read.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good book, Baaaaad narration

I am very interested the Franco-Prussian war and I was very excited about listening to this audio book. However, the narrator's constant whistling while he is talking drove me crazy. I had to return the book after listening for about 10 minutes. I don't know if this book was recorded in a closet somewhere or if the audio engineer is incompetent, but that audio book is terrible.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Dense

The book is very dense, and NOT a casual history for the layman. Filled to the brim with names and dates, so if that's not your thing I'd get something else. It's very detailed and well researched so if you know the period well it should be a good book to fill in your knowledge.

The reader is good. He sorta reads in stanzas which almost sounds monotone at times, but it's not bad.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for S. Moorcroft
  • S. Moorcroft
  • 10-31-17

AJP Taylor Lives

This is history in the Alan Taylor style, big characters making key decisions, with a strong strand of Taylor revisionism, even down to Taylor's sympathetic treatment of Bismark. History as cock-up rather than conspiracy or grand strategy. Entertaing if a little frivolous at times. A good listen.

2 people found this helpful